5 Minute Read + Scripture readings
TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Philippians 3:8 (CSB): “More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
When we read the words of Philippians 3:8, we understand that Paul wanted to know Jesus. When we read a little further, we realize that knowing Him was actually his goal.
Philippians 3:10 (CSB): “My goal is to know him…”
If we were there in the room with Paul as he was dictating his letter to the man who was writing it (see Romans 16:22), we may have been tempted to ask Paul a few questions.
“Paul, how can you say that you want to know Jesus? You already know Him! In fact, you have written extensively about Him in your letters. What do you mean when you say that you want to know Him?”
Well, the answer is found in the language in which Paul originally wrote the letter to the Philippian church.
… and he didn’t write it in English. Someone came to my door yesterday and invited me to their church. Out of curiosity, I checked out their church’s website and saw that they claimed that God’s Word was preserved in their particular English translation of the Bible. That is bizarre given that not a single one of the Old Testament or New Testament writers ever spoke English or even heard of it. It wasn’t even in existence at that time.
Paul’s letters were not written in English. They were written in Koine Greek, the language of commerce in the first century. It was the universal language that allowed Rome to bring all of their conquered countries under one umbrella. (On a side note, this is one of the reasons God sent Jesus to earth when He did. Under Roman rule and with the universal language of Greek, the Gospel was able to spread like wildfire.)
So, let’s get back to our original point. Paul wrote in Koine Greek so we need to look at the Greek word that he used so that we can understand what he meant.
When Paul said that he wanted to “know” Jesus, he used the Greek word “ginosko.” That word doesn’t simply mean a “head-knowledge.” It does NOT mean that Paul simply wanted to know more facts about Jesus.
Instead, the Greek word, “ginosko,” speaks of an experiential knowledge. It speaks of a knowledge and familiarity that is so deep that it is felt.
So, when Paul said that he wanted to know Jesus, he was not saying that he wanted to know more facts about Jesus. He was saying that he wanted to know Jesus on an experiential level, one that would satisfy the longing of his heart. It was like Paul was a kid peering into a candy store wanting to “experience” all of the goodies inside.
Friend, far too many Christians are satisfied with knowing things about Jesus. They know facts about Him. But, they don’t really know Him. And, therefore, they don’t have the overwhelming desire to experience Him on a deeper level like the Apostle Paul did.
Might I recommend a resource to you? Would you consider securing a workbook and then gathering a group around you who would also get the workbook? Would you consider meeting with that group once a week to discuss what you are learning? I’m convinced that if you do, you just might see God do some wonderful things as you get to know (experience) Him more!
Here it is!